Because the clocks change in the UK in October, I work my winter “split shift” system.
Using the Clock changes to your advantage
If, like me, you find the darker evenings and the end of British Summer Time (BST) take away your leisure or exercise time (in my case, cycling) in the winter, think about how to split up your working day.
The concept of split shift working
The concept is simple and used in many workplaces – do your day’s work in several chunks, rather than one go (e.g. 9 to 5). Many people could start earlier, take a few hours out mid-morning or mid-afternoon then return work later, providing they plan it.
What about missing calls or customers?
A business cannot flourish unless it satisfies customers. So people need to make plans for dealing with enquiries etc. But remember, this arrangement could actually extend the time a business is available to customers if colleagues take different breaks, or answering systems are used sensibly. There are always times when people are unavailable due to meetings etc, so why not plan them to your advantage?
Run your own business?
If you are your own boss, it can be tempting to keep the traditional routine of ‘office hours’ and more. In winter you can find that sports, gardening or just a walk outside to unwind can get ignored.
So consider taking a break of several hours in daylight then return to running your business as it starts to get dark. The extra focus when you return means that you can still get things done by a reasonable time, and you will not have missed out on stress-reducing down-time and leisure activities – you probably work late anyway!
The concept of split shifts or different working hours may suit many employees, so before making any decisions, have a discussion about the whole concept of working hours. As long as everyone is in agreement, most arrangements are possible.
Go on – take a few minutes to consider how you could keep your daylight activities when the daylight hours are shorter! Some timetables can’t be changed, but many can with a bit of thought.
Contact me if you want explore how to make time work for you.